The only reason we could see ahead of us was the headlamps two or three of us had grabbed before heading out for the run. We were all freshmen on the cross country team at Cedarville.
It was Labor Day weekend and we had decided it would be fun to go running in the dark on some back roads none of us had been down before. We spent the run trying to learn more about each other, talking about our goals and dreams for our schooling and running careers. We did not know entirely where we were going, but we knew we would be fine as long as we stayed together.
There have been so many similar runs with those guys during my time here. But in the last month or so, our conversations have started to shift. Where once we were all talking about our future at
Cedarville, now we spend a lot of time telling stories from the past few years and planning out things we want to do together before we go our separate ways.
I have had mixed emotions as this school year slowly heads toward the final month or so. In one sense, I cannot wait to be done with school. I have never been great with homework and projects, and it will be nice to finally have a break from them.
On the other hand, I realize that a significant chapter in my life is about to end. Friendships that have pulled me through good and bad times here will always exist at some level, but it will be time for us all to go our separate ways for the most part.
That mixture of feelings has caused some interesting tension in how I spend my time. School is important, and passing classes needs to be a priority. As much as I hate to admit it, school is why I am here. But at the same time, I am trying to take advantage of every moment I have with these friends that have become more like family to me.
There is still a little bit of time left in the school year. And if there is one thing I want you to understand before your time at Cedarville is over, no matter who you are, it is that the work will always be there. Schoolwork. Homework. A job. But most people will only be there for a season. Don’t miss the people.
That isn’t an excuse to shirk responsibilities. But I am not sure I would have made it as far as I have without the friends I made along the way. Sometimes the best thing you can do is turn off the electronics and take a walk with a good friend.
We may not have very long with each other here at Cedarville, but let’s take the opportunity to go deeper with one another and truly invest in the lives of those around us.
There aren’t many roads in the area we haven’t explored at some point during our runs at Cedarville. We know how just about any road we run down will finish and where we will come out. Even in the dark. And we still talk about our plans for the future.
But it never escapes me that this time the future is not something we are going to face as a group. And while we have an idea of where we want to go, it’s impossible to know where all of us will end up.
Maybe there is more I could say, but it is March Madness season and my friends are telling me to wrap this article up by just writing the word “lollipop” for the rest of the column so I can watch the games with them. Work will always be there, but don’t forget the people.
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Erik Johnson is a senior journalism major and columnist for Cedars. He competes on the track team. Follow him @walkingtheedge9.